Damage reported after tornadoes in Bay area
TAMPA (FOX 13) - The clean-up effort is underway after multiple tornadoes touched down in the Bay area Thursday morning.
A total of four warnings were issued throughout the morning, and the National Weather Service has since confirmed that at least two tornadoes made landfall in Pasco and Pinellas Counties.
The first warning was issued for southwest Pasco County at 5:47 a.m. after a water spout moved on shore, followed by another one for Pinellas County through 7 a.m., and then a third and fourth for both Hillsborough and Pinellas Counties through 8:00.
Most of the power outages reported to Duke Energy had been restored by early Thursday evening.
Damages have also been reported as a result of each of the storms.
A Pasco County spokesperson initially said a large tree fell into a home in the 7200 block of Parrot Drive, and that a home on Drexel Drive- not far from Fox Hollow and U.S. 19- had its roof blown off.
And as the storms moved out, the county says several more reports of damage came in. As of about 9:30 a.m., they said a total of 35 homes had reported damages, and that five of them had severe structural damage.
Locals also reported downed power lines, business signs, and trees, as well as carports that were blown down and sheds that were ripped from the ground.
The Pasco County Sheriff's Office later sent their helicopter out to look for additional issues that had yet to be recorded in the county.
**Deputies also urged locals not to call 911 unless it is an emergency. Those needing to report storm damages are instead being asked to call 727-847-2411.**
Authorities continue to remind people to be cautious when hiring people to make repairs. The Pinellas County Sheriff's Office says:
-Avoid dealing with anyone soliciting work door to door take the opportunity to check them out first.
-Be wary of contractors who ask for advance payment in full. Paid upon completion or as the work progresses
-Beware of any contractor who tells you that extensive or structural repair do not require a permit. The contractor should pull the required building permits, not the homeowner.
Deal only with licensed and insured contractors. Verify that the license is current and active by contacting the Pinellas county construction licensing board at 727-582-3100 www.PCCLB.com
To check the complete history of a business, contact justice and consumer services at 727-464-6200 or visit www.PinellasCounty.org/consumer.
FOX 13 will continue with updates as they become available.